By Adam Baskin: Devin Haney has been elevated to the Ring Magazine pound-for-pound list at #8 after his controversial win over Vasyl Lomachenko last Saturday night.
What’s more surprising than the Ring Magazine deciding to add Haney (30-0, 15 KOs) to the list after his contested decision but also the fact that they’ve placed him above Gervonta Davis, who many boxing fans view as the best fighter at 135 at this moment. That’s just wrong.
Haney had complained about not being on the pound-for-pound list in the past, and he naively thought that he would be vaulted to the #1 spot after beating the 35-year-old Lomachenko.
Unfortunately, whatever chance Haney had of earning the top perch on the pound-for-pound list went out the window with his poor performance against Lomachenko. Even if you say, Haney deserved the victory; it was not a sparkling effort with the way he labored against the much smaller fighter.
For Haney to earn a top 10 spot on the pound-for-pound list, in this writer’s view, he needs to run it back with Lomachenko and beat him without controversy next time. Minus Haney doing that, he doesn’t belong on the list, and he certainly shouldn’t be ahead of a talent like Gervonta.
You can make an argument that Shakur Stevenson should be at the #8 spot instead of Haney because he’s performing at a higher level and looking like the next superstar in the sport.
Ring Magazine updated pound-for-pound list
1. Oleksandr Usyk
2. Naoya Inoue
3. Terence Crawford
4. Errol Spence
5. Canelo Alvarez
6. Dmitry Bivol
7. Josh Taylor
8. Devin Haney
9. Gervonta Davis
10. Vasyl Lomachenko
Big fish in water looking at Haney
“Shakur had a little altercation with Haney in the ring after, and Haney said, ‘I’m #1,’ and Shakur said, ‘For now.’ There are a lot of fish in the water looking at Devin Haney,” said Dan Canobbio to Inside Boxing Live.
“Shakur beats everybody, and I have no question about that,” said Chris Mannix. “He beats Haney. All the things that gave trouble from the southpaw position Shakur does, and he does it really well, and he’s big enough. Yeah, Shakur beats him.”
“Were you surprised by some of Haney’s defense? His jab wasn’t exactly there for him,” said Canobbio. “He didn’t even try to jab.”
“I couldn’t believe how easy he was to hit,” said Algieri about Haney. “He was very square, and he was moving to his right, which is to the southpaw’s left hand. He was treating himself like was a hard counter-puncher and body puncher.
“He dispensed with the jab early and didn’t even try to use it. I was thinking early on because he was landing a lot of clean, hard body shots. I was thinking, ‘Wow, the strategy that these guys have employed, that he’s executing, it pretty good. This is impressive.’
“If he’d have gotten to Loma late and beat him up, I would have thought, ‘Wow, these guys are something else.’ But the fact that it went the way Loma’s fights go, it did not add up to being a clear decision.
“I think it was bad strategy. He should have done what he’s always does. Box from the outside. You’re going to let the shorter man walk in the front door and literally hit you with straight left hands and pop your head into the air every chance he gets?
“He walked right into the front door. You have a 5 1/2” reach advantage. How are you letting this guy walk right into the front door? It wasn’t like Lomachenko was making fast, explosive moves like a Pacquiao-esque type of guy. He was literally walking in because Haney was letting him.
“I was on the air and saying, ‘This is the wrong range. He’s allowing Lomachenko to hang out in the range where he can hit him. What are you doing? Why?’” said Algieri.